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Butterflies and Hurricanes avatar 8:46 AM on 01.07.2008  (server time)
Never Play Nintendogs On A Bus!

As it was the holidays I can usually hope to pull in a game or two, a number which is very small much to my dismay. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that I’m a girl, or that I’ve never really found interest in the ‘girlie’ things my sisters did, my family hasn’t really been overly supportive of my game playing, cartoon watching self.

When I started University and with a little help from my friends to be my own person the expectation of what other people wanted of me lifted, or I could just care less, in any case! If I spend hours sitting on the couch, between work… after work… before dinner… after dinner… you get the idea. And when sitting in waiting rooms a DS has been known to slip out of my purse until you get to the point when the game tells you to Call Out to the person on the other side of the wall and you look around before whispering into your machine, attracting gazes and having parents move their children away from this seemingly harmless girl who is now speaking to a game. So it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but that is a serious concern of mine while playing my DS in public.

I ran into this situation yesterday, I was sitting with my roommates in our apartment, they were watching the football game and I was devouring Phantom Hourglass when the game asks me to ‘Call Out… Loud and Clear!’ I’ve already made the executive decision to never take my Nintendogs into public for that exact reason, but I wasn’t expecting it to come at me so soon in this case. I looked around the room everyone is watching the game and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it… none of these people have ever held a DS and played on one, not because I won’t share, but because they’ve never asked, so they’ve never encountered this situation. I pause, Cough nervously and say “So yea… I have to umm, yell something at my game” Three sets of raised eyebrows turn to me and they burst into laughter, now as quick as I am I hold up my DS and their roars of laughter are enough to collect the sound required in the mic. But it didn’t save me the humiliation of the situation, but what can you do?

While we’re here I’m going to tell a little about Phantom Hourglass. Having had my DS for several years now I’ve played quite a few games. Most of which are pick up and put down games like, Nintendogs, Cooking Mama and Pony Friends (I Know…) among others. The only adventure games I’ve played are Kirby Squeak Squad, and Super Mario64. But none of the games have used the stylus, dual screens and mic so practically as Phantom Hourglass.

Much to my joy the game looks phenomenal, the CG is exactly like Wind Waker and then the game asked me to mark something on my map to remind myself of a spot I needed to go to later. So I pull down the map and write directly on it where I need to go and why, now every time I come to this area it reminds me until I erase it, problem free! What an interesting idea! And it prepared me that the puzzles were going to work differently from other Zelda games and I’m generally excited. I haven’t made it too far in yet, but I’ve already had to use the microphone to get someone’s attention, blow out candles and use the stylus throughout the entire game to move and write. The menu screens are easy to find and you can tap for them or use the directional pad if you need it quicker. Not to mention that this game is incredibly comfortable to play, you can just rest it on your lap and don’t have the corners digging into the heel of your palm like some other handheld DS games.

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